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Posts Tagged ‘cask’

LIVE Dead Pony Club

August 26, 2016 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.45

Yet another new Brewdog beer now and like the Ace of Citra I reviewed last, this is another that I managed to try when visiting Brewdog’s Bristol bar over the weekend. I knew I’d have to hit up one the brewery’s bars sooner rather than later because this particular offering is one that I was eager to try when I heard they were launching it not too long ago. LIVE Dead Pony Club is the brewery’s take on a cask beer that uses a ‘KeyKeg’ to keep the beer fresh and they promise it should be an improvement on cask beers of old. The beer is a reworking of their ever-popular Dead Pony Club beer that was originally launched back in 2012, but this time new technology is used in the brewing and serving of the beer. I was excited by the prospect of this one since one of my biggest complaints when trying cask beers is that they are usually flat and quite bland at times so I was hoping this one would offer something different. The beer is currently only available at UK-based Brewdog bars due to the fact that the beer has to be drunk relatively fresh; anyway, here’s what I thought of it.

LIVE Dead Pony Club

Appearance (4/5): Pouring with a slightly hazy body, this one is quite a bright beer in the glass and is topped with a thin, white head that just about manages to cover the surface of the beer and leaves a touch of lace on the sides too.
Aroma (6/10): This one was surprisingly weak on the nose if I’m honest, I was expecting a little bit more from it but it opened up with some bitter hops and touches of pine. Nothing was particularly strong about the aroma with some citrus notes and a faint acidity coming through before touches of spice appeared nearer the end; this one was disappointing and could definitely have been a lot stronger.
Taste (6/10): The first thing you notice about the task is that it was surprisingly warm initially, it was also quite bitter too with a combination of pine and citrus hops opening things up. The taste definitely came through a little stronger than with the nose but it was still a long way short of being a strongly flavoured beer sadly, although some background fruits did feature too. The taste seemed quite fresh with touches of apricot and orange coming through but not a whole lot else really and the taste suffered as a result.
Palate (4/5): Quite a warm offering initially, surprisingly so even when compared to other cask beers I’ve tried in the past. This one came through with slightly more carbonation and a generally fresher taste than the majority of cask beers I’ve tried but it was quite a weak, almost bland tasting beer that didn’t come through with anywhere near enough variety or flavour to it sadly.

Overall (13/20): This offering from Brewdog was a bit of strange one really, mainly due to the fact that I was slightly taken aback by the fact that the pint was quite warm soon after being poured but also because it lacked a lot of the flavour and aroma that I’ve come to expect from this beer in keg and can form, all of which was lacking with this take on a real ale cask beer. There was some nice citrus hops and bitterness coming through early but in truth they were a little too subdued and hard to detect at point with parts of the beer seemed weak and watered down. It definitely seemed fresher than most cask offerings though and the carbonation was better too but I doubt it’s one that I’d go back to when there is are perfectly good keg, can and bottle version of the beer already available.

Brewed In: Fraserburgh, Scotland
Brewery: BrewDog
First Brewed: 2016 (Original beer 2012)
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 3.8%
Serving: Cask (Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog, Bristol, England
Price: £3.61

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Silver Buckles

July 11, 2016 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.05

My one and only review of a beer that I tried when I was in County Durham recently and it’s a local one that I managed to sample at the pub attached to the Stables Brewery in Beamish. The beer in question is their English IPA style Silver Buckles offering that I sampled on cask while at Beamish Hall for the afternoon. One of roughly nine beers that the brewery makes, this one appears to be one of their most popular offerings but how popular they are I’m not sure considering the brewpub I visited is likely one of only a handful of places that offer any Stables beers on cask. In addition to being the first beer from the Stables brewery that I’ve tried, this one is also the first beer brewed in County Durham that I’ve sampled and brings my total to thirty-three out of forty-six on the RateBeer website; not bad considering it’s not something I’ve been actively trying to finish, although I may have to start now.

Silver Buckles

Appearance (4/5): Light golden in colour and semi-cloudy with a creamy white head on top that looked pretty thick and held very well over the opening couple of minutes.
Aroma (6/10): This nose was a fairly light one here and there wasn’t too much that jumped out or grabbed your attention other than some pleasant malts that gave the beer an almost lager like aroma in the early going. There was some biscuit notes and a few earthy aromas in the early going before some subtle grassy notes and a moderate bitterness came through around the middle and further earthy touches seen things out.
Taste (5/10): Following on in a similar fashion to the nose, the taste is an earthy one with some biscuit and bread malts opening things up alongside some subtle grassy flavours and hops. There was the odd touch of citrus coming through from the middle on wards as well but again it was quite a light and pretty bland tasting beer overall.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied and coming through with quite light, soft carbonation and a fairly earthy feel to proceedings, thus one was a semi-dry beer that had some creamy touches to it and was smooth down the stretch as well but was far from being anything special.

Overall (11/20): This one was a fairly poor to average beer on the whole and I can’t see it being one that I’ll remember too much about in a couple of months given how bland it came through for the most part. There was some pleasant biscuit malts and the odd earthy patch but beyond that there wasn’t too much of anything to grab your attention or keep you interested. Some subtle grassy flavours and a bit of citrus helped liven things up but there just wasn’t enough of them to make this one an enjoyable beer that I’d consider having again sadly.

Brewed In: Beamish, Durham, England
Brewery: Stables Brewery
First Brewed: circa. 2010
Type: English IPA
Abv: 4.4%
Serving: Cask (Pint)
Purchased: Beamish Hall, Durham, England
Price: £3.00

Elland Chinhook

Rating: 3.6

The final beer that I managed to try on my recent trip to Manchester now, this one is a relatively new beer that was only introduced earlier this year by the Elland Brewery from the West Yorkshire town of the same name. The beer is one that I sampled on cask at the Micro Bar in Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre on my last afternoon in the city since it was one of only a couple of beers that the brewery had on-tap and I’d already tried the majority of their bottled offerings. The beer is a golden ale from Elland that featured at this years Pendle Beer Festival and as it turned out was a surprisingly good cask offering; here’s what I thought of the beer.

Elland Chinhook

Appearance (4/5): Golden coloured and quite clear with a cream looking white head on top that’s quite thick and holds pretty well with some nice lacing sticking to the sides of the glass as well.
Aroma (6/10): Light and quite soft on the nose without being overly weak, this one started with some basic citrus and grapefruit notes before a moderate bitterness starts to come through. There was some faint tropical notes and touches of bread with a few pale malts too but overall it was quite a fresh beer without being overly strong or pronounced.
Taste (7/10): Quite bitter to start with, this one was a fresh beer with a lot of citrus tang and some good grapefruit in the early going. I managed to detect some bread and a few pale malts before the tropical fruits showed themselves around the middle of the beer with a few touches of lemon not far behind. Some earthy flavours make an appearance too and there was certainly more going on than I’d expected when ordering this one.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and very smooth with a few creamy touches into the bargain and a lot of bitterness coming through from the start. The beer was sharp on the palate and surprisingly well carbonated for a cask offering too with a fresh feel and a lingering bitter aftertaste.

Overall (14/20): This one was a really nice beer, particularly when considering it was a cask offering and I’m usually not a huge fan of them. There was a pleasant and strong bitterness throughout with plenty of citrus showing alongside some grapefruit and tropical fruits that was very good and went down easily. This one was a solid effort from the Elland Brewery and one that I’d happily go back to but I’d also be interested to try a keg version of this beer, if one exists, to see how the two compare.

Brewed In: Elland, West Yorkshire, England
Brewery: Elland Brewery
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Golden/Blond Ale
Abv: 3.9%
Serving: Cask (Pint)
Purchased: Micro Bar, Manchester, England
Price: £3.00

Soli-Pa

Rating: 3.65

The first review from the beers I sampled on a recent trip to Manchester now and it’s an exclusive cask offering that’s only available at two SoLIta restaurants in the Manchester area. The beer will also be my first from the local Brightside Brewing Company that makes the beer along with a couple of others that were available in the restaurant but this was the only one I was able to try at the time. As I probably mention every time I review a cask offering here, they’re not my favourite type of beer and I usually avoid them when something different is on offer but when ordering this one I didn’t realise it was a cask beer initially; luckily though it was quite a nice one.

Soli-Pa

Appearance (4/5): Sitting a light golden colour in the glass and topped with a thumb-sized, foamy white head that looked creamy and held very well, this was quite a nice looking beer and it also managed to leave some touches of lacing on the sides of the glass which was nice.
Aroma (7/10): Light citrus hops and some pale malts kick things off here, there was also some touches of biscuit and a faint pine kick to proceedings. I could also detect some background tropical fruits and touches of fresh grass but nothing was particularly strong on the nose really; still nice though.
Taste (7/10): Initially quite a fresh tasting beer with some nice pine and grapefruit flavours to open things up before some grassy hops and a faint combination of background fruits made themselves known. The beer was earthy with some floral touches and a few biscuit malts coming through from the middle onwards and a little sweetness showed towards the end too. It was definitely a fresh but also quite a mellow beer on the taste buds.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and medium bodied with a pleasant citrus tang in the early going, this one was a moderately bitter beer throughout and there was a lingering aftertaste to it too. It seemed fresh with some subtle pine hops adding to the bitterness towards the middle and overall it seemed like a balanced beer although like most cask offerings, the carbonation levels could have been stronger.

Overall (13/20): After initially being disappointed to find out this would be a cask offering after already ordering it, thankfully this one wasn’t too bad an offering and went down relatively easily from the start. It was quite a fresh, moderately bitter beer that came through with some nice citrus bursts and the odd tropical fruit coming through whilst holding a nice balance. Although it wasn’t a flat beer, the carbonation levels weren’t the best and it was definitely more golden ale than IPA but overall it was a nice beer and one worth considering if you find yourself in a SoLIta restaurant in the near future.

Brewed In: Manchester, England
Brewery: Brightside Brewing Company
First Brewed: circa. 2015
Type: Golden/Blond Ale
Abv: 4.2%
Serving: Cask (Pint)
Purchased: SoLIta, Manchester, England
Price: £3.80

Clockwork Pacific Pale Ale

Rating: 2.6

A second Clockwork Beer Co. offering from me now and one that I tried on cask at the brewpub over the weekend, just over a year after first visiting the place and trying their Cartside Red that afternoon. This one is another cask offering from the brewery that I opted for after finding that my first choice, their Oregon IPA, wasn’t available on my visit. This particular beer is another of the brewery’s regular cask offerings and it’s labelled as an American pale ale which is part of the reason that I opted for it on this occasion, seeing as we’re just getting into the summer months (despite the fact the weather doesn’t seem to be improving any).

Clockwork Pacific Pale Ale

Appearance (3/5): This one was a slightly hazy looking beer that sat as a fairly yellow looking, golden colour in the glass and was topped with a small, foamy white lacing around the circumference of the beer without looking like a particularly appealing beer.
Aroma (5/10): The one was quite a one-dimensional beer on the nose with some moderate strength hops and a few touches of citrus coming through in the early going before a few malts and some bread showed up around the middle. The beer has moderate strength on the nose but in truth it just wasn’t all that interesting a beer in my opinion.
Taste (5/10): Quite a bitter taste, more so that the nose indicated really and there was quite a strong lemon flavour that was backed up with touches of pine. The beer was fruity with some tropical ones sitting in the background and a few bread malts in there too but again it was quite an ordinary beer in my opinion with little else in there to grab your attention.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied and quite flat, something that I always find to be a problem with cask offering. There was no sign of any carbonation and the beer was definitely a bitter one on the palate with some citrus coming through as well and adding a tang to proceedings; beyond that there wasn’t too much going on really.

Overall (8/20): This one proved to be another fairly disappointing offering from Clockwork and in the end it proved to be quite a flat, one-dimensional beer that had little showing to keep me interested. For the most part, there wasn’t a whole lot going on with the beer other than some strong bitterness and plenty of lemon/citrus flavours but it wasn’t enough to allow me to enjoy the beer and it’s not one that I plan on trying again either; poor stuff again from Clockwork.

Brewed In: Mount Florida, Glasgow, Scotland
Brewery: Clockwork Beer Company
Type: American Pale Ale
First Brewed: 2014
Abv: 4.2%
Serving: Cask (Pint)
Purchased: Clockwork Beer Co., Mount Florida, Glasgow
Price: £3.60

Greene King East Coast IPA

April 22, 2016 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.65

A new Greene King beer for me now, this one is another of their attempts to grab a piece of the craft beer market with that seemed more like an American style pale ale but one that was confusingly tasted very little like an IPA but was called an “East Coast IPA”. I ordered a pint of this recently in Glasgow after spotting it on-tap and was surprised when it came as a cask offering, there was no sign of the usual hand pump behind the bar so I’d wrongly assumed it would be a keg offering. Promising lots of bitterness and tropical fruits flavours with some citrus too, you can imagine my disappointment with this one when all I got was some earthy hops, biscuit and basic malts. This one has got to be one of the most disappointing beers I’ve tried in some time so I’ll keep things relatively short here and get straight into telling you what I thought of it.

Greene King East Coast IPA

Appearance (5/5): This one takes a minute to settle but when it does it looks quite nice sitting in the glass as a medium amber colour that has a slightly hazy body. The head is a great looking, creamy white one about a centimetre and a half tall that has excellent retention over the opening few minutes and leaves great lacing on the sides of the glass too.
Aroma (5/10): Not a particularly well pronounced beer on the nose really, there wasn’t a whole lot going on initially other than some light, earthy malts and pale notes with some basic hops and touches of citrus. I struggled to detect much of anything at times but there was some biscuit notes and a faint caramel around the middle before some floral notes seen things out. Quite a weak and bland aroma, the beer was pretty disappointing on the nose and could really have done with being stronger.
Taste (4/10): The taste followed on closely behind the nose and again seemed quite weak with very little going on if I’m honest, there was some faint floral touches and an overriding biscuit flavour but beyond that there wasn’t much that was easy to detect. I got some faint citrus and a few earthy hops with some bitterness towards the end and a few pale malts sneaking in but again it was quite a disappointing one.
Palate (2/5): Medium bodied and coming through with very soft carbonation that made it seem like countless other cask offerings before it, basically quite flat. There was some floral touches coming through with a moderate bitterness towards the end but it seemed weak and bland overall.

Overall (7/20): This one was a beer that I ordered assuming it would be a keg offering and was surprised when handed a cask beer which I’m not really a fan of however I went into the beer with an open mind and was left thoroughly disappointed by it. There just didn’t seem to be much going on with this Green King offering save for some basic earthy hops and malts plus few touches of citrus; on the whole it was a bland, very boring beer that I could have done without if I’m honest.

Brewed In: Bury St. Edmunds, England
Brewery: Greene King Brewery
First Brewed: 2014
Type: American IPA
Abv: 4.0%
Serving: Cask (Pint)
Purchased: Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £4.05 (approx.)

Silkie Stout

May 14, 2015 1 comment

Rating: 3.7

An increasingly rare review of a cask beer from me now, this is a beer that I tried whilst visiting the village of Balmaha on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond over the weekend. I managed to get a half pint of this dark stout at the Oak Tree Inn after stopping off for some lunch and seeing that it was one of the few local beers they had on offer, the other being the pubs very own Balmaha Lager on keg but I felt the stout might be the more interesting choice for the afternoons sole drink. I knew of the Oak Tree Inn previously after picking up a bottle of their Kiltwalk golden ale a couple of years ago so I had been hoping for a little more choice with their beer list but in the end there wasn’t much sadly; at least they had something I’d never tried before though.

Silkie Stout

Appearance (5/5): This one sits a deep ruby colour that borders on mahogany and is topped with a creamy, light beige head that is perfectly level and sits about a centimetre tall with amazing retention and zero movement over the opening minutes.
Aroma (7/10): Medium strength on the nose with some good roasted malts and coffee upfront. This is followed by some dark notes and further malts as well as some chocolate. I managed to detect a slightly creamy note to the beer with some darker fruits and a hint of sweetness and lactose right at the end, as well as some bitterness too.
Taste (6/10): Strong roasted malts with a lot of bitterness on the taste early on, this one is definitely quite dark with some dark flavoured malts and hints of chocolate. Faint dark fruits and some sweetness sneak in alongside some caramel but all of these seem quite light when compared to the dark roasted taste of the beer that is present throughout.
Palate (4/5): Silky smooth as the name suggests, the beer was very creamy with a medium body and quite a strong, earthy bitterness throughout. The carbonation levels were quite light and soft from the start, much as I was expecting and the beer was a dry one, particularly at the end.

Overall (12/20): Not a bad beer from the Loch Lomond brewery here, a drink that started off well with an excellent appearance and the rest wasn’t too bad either in truth. The taste and nose were really quite bitter with a lot of dark and roasted flavours fighting for your attention but thankfully the beer was so smooth that it went down easily enough. A pleasant drink but one that I was glad to only have a half pint of, I felt that a pint of the stuff might have been a bit boring towards the end.

Brewed In: Lomond Industrial Estate, Alexandria, Scotland
Brewery: Loch Lomond Brewery
First Brewed: 2012
Type: Stout
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Cask (500ml)
Purchased: Oak Tree Inn, Balmaha, Scotland
Price: £1.75

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